Bill Simmons recently did a gigantic piece on the year in sports, mostly having to do with a defense of Almost Famous as the decade's defining movie. While some people apparently freaked out over the selection, I couldn't really find anything wrong with it. His three criteria were quality, originality, and re-watchability, and Almost Famous has all three in spades. It's one of the few movies from this decade that you can point to and say that.
I decided to dig through the vault and try to find the 10 most likely candidates for "Movie Of The Aughts," a title we won't really be able to figure out until 10 years down the line. Keep in mind, often the decade's defining movies don't come out until the end of the decade, so there's still hope for 2009 that something like The Hangover, (500) Days Of Summer, or The Hurt Locker might grab the title.
10. Donnie Darko (2001) - Sort of an underground choice, but people still endlessly debate this movie and what, exactly, it's about. There's about to be a sequel that doesn't involve any of the major characters or the writer-director, just because the original keeps sticking with people. That's impressive.
9. Juno (2007) - It's really too soon to know, but this seems most likely to be the indie movie that forever could.
8. Milk (2008) - In 10 years, people will completely incorrectly give this movie credit for changing American opinion on gay marriage. Working in it's favor will be the fact that it will still be a really good movie.
7. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004) - Because - ironically - it sticks in your mind, and ultimately we'll consider it Kate Winslet's greatest movie.
6. Memento (2001) - The Aughts will be remembered for this sort of movie, and this and Sunshine are the two best examples of them. I'm betting on one of them sticking around in the national consciousness.
5. High Fidelity (2000) - Really more of a 90's movie than an 00's movie, it's still one of the strongest romantic comedies of all time.
4. Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (2004) - Every generation has a turning-point comedy, and this was ours.
3. Dark Knight (2008) - The best superhero movie of all time, of the biggest grossing movies of all time, and the special effects are so solid it should age extremely well.
2. Lord Of The Rings (2001-2003) - Decades are remembered for their franchises more than anything.
1. Almost Famous (2000) - Hey, I didn't say I disagreed with him. I just wanted to open up the discussion.
What did I miss? Should movies like Little Miss Sunshine or Brokeback Mountain have made the list? Or has their time already come and gone?